Special Olympics seeks superheroes

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Special Olympics Ulster are issuing a call for their annual Collection Day in Tyrone on Friday May 5 to help transform lives through sport.

This year’s theme is ‘Currently Seeking Superheroes’ with the goal of recruiting volunteers to help on the day and inspiring the wider community to give what they can.

Special Olympics has a long history in The Red Hand County. Regional Advancement events are taking place throughout Ulster, and Tyrone is well represented across 13 sports including bowling. Libby McFarland, Nicola McIntyre, Dara Friel and Julian McIntyre from Strabane competed in the Ulster Region Bowling Advancement Event 2017 at Lisburn Bowl last month. They train with the Strabane Special Olympics Club and their coach Sandra Friel in Strabane.

Ulster Regional Director Shaun Cassidy explained the importance of sport in the lives of people with intellectual disabilities like Libby, Nicola, Dara and Julian.

“Special Olympics Ireland is first and foremost a sports organisation for people with an intellectual disability, but it provides athletes with far more than the physical benefits of sport,” he said. “Every day we see athletes demonstrate courage, experience joy and share long lasting friendships.”

“We need 50 people to help in Tyrone alone. If that many volunteers can spare a couple of hours to rattle a bucket, we’ll be a long way to meeting our target. Collection Day is the only day in the year where a call is issued for every community to support Special Olympics Ireland at the same time. There will be lots of coffee mornings, bag packs and fun events to get involved in too.”

Log onto www.specialolympics.ie for more information.